Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? As a survivor of domestic violence and an advocate for the community, I wanted to shed light on a topic that is often overlooked…emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is a type of domestic violence that is often overlooked and not talked about. It can be degrading, terrifying and humiliating. It can take a toll on the victim’s confidence and self-esteem.
Psychological abuse has been scientifically proven to cause long-term damage to a victim’s mental health. This can cause anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, low self-esteem, lack of trust and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
What are some signs of emotional abuse in a relationship? How can we identify them? Keep reading to learn 6 signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.
6 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Gaslighting is a type of abuse is meant to make your doubt what is reality. The abuser will often question your own thoughts. When gaslighting is successful, you will begin to wonder if you can trust your own feelings and interpretations.
Instead of communicating, an abuser punishes you with silence, leaving you guessing at what you might have done wrong. The silent treatment is a means of control.
Someone abusing you will try to get you to prioritize their needs and neglect your own. Often, they will make an effort to isolate your from your support system, which leaves you more dependent on them, thus having more control over you.
Invasion of Privacy
When someone is trying to control you through possession. The abuser may go through your things without your permission. They can also take control of your money, also known as financial abuse.
This scenario is when the abuser threatens to withhold something from you unless you give into their demands. Some examples of emotional abuse can be:
- “If you don’t have sex with me, I’ll go find it somewhere else.
- “I’ll kill myself if you try to break up with me.”
- “If you don’t do what I want, I’m going to get a divorce.”
An abuser doesn’t miss a chance to remind you of your flaws, mistakes and shortcomings. They often call you names, belittle you, make condescending remarks and may even embarrass you in public. The abuser will often disregard your opinions ideas, thoughts and feelings.
The Bottom Line
Recognizing the signs of emotional abuse is the first step to getting help. There are people who want to support you!
You should also remember that the abuse is never your fault. Start taking small steps to protect and nurture yourself and begin to heal from your emotionally abusive relationship. You deserve love, respect, to be treated like a queen, the right to feel safe and seen in your relationship. No more settling for less!
Learning to pinpoint red flags can help you make feel empowered and form decisions that can change your life. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can heal from an emotionally abusive relationship. Read my blog post around How to Heal From a Toxic Relationship for some tips and tools on how to get started on your journey to healing.
Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please know that help is available. Call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788 for confidential support.
For free resources around domestic violence, CLICK HERE for podcast episodes featuring different survivor stories!
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